• “Without a doubt, the vast majority of members of both (political parties’) caucuses don’t want any changes to the day-to-day goings-on down here. They don’t want caps on gifts, they don’t want to stop the flow of meals and trips. They don’t want any of that.” — Missouri state Sen. John Lamping, a Ladue Republican, who sponsored an ethics overhaul this year. (link via johncombest.com).
To hardly anyone’s surprise, ethics legislation appears dead again in the 2014 session. As it is, the Legislature continues to sully its reputation each year by failing to pass common-sense legislation to clean up its act. The General Assembly continues to be the only legislative body in the country that allows its members to accept unlimited gifts from lobbyists and unlimited campaign donations. The audacity of members continues to boggle the mind.
• “The main thing is that the data entry side does not have hardly any work to do. They’re told to sit at their computers and hit the refresh button every 10 minutes — no more than every 10 minutes. They’re monitored to hopefully look for an application.” — a whistleblower talking to KMOV-TV about the Obamacare processing center in Missouri.
The employees at the center have very little to do and often are paid to do nothing, the whistleblower said. The situation is the same for workers at sites in Kentucky and Oklahoma.
• “He’s making a concrete effort now.” — Michael Stratton, a veteran Democratic presidential campaign operative,on the steps
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, is taking to launch a 2016 presidential bid.
O’Malley isn’t sitting around waiting for Hillary Clinton to announce. O’Malley’s even talked to Clinton, who reportedly told the governor that he should do what he needs to do. So O’Malley is off, visiting early primary states and raising money for fellow Democrats. The view from the home offices of The Buzz: O’Malley is wasting his time.
• “One way or the other, we are going to pay for our roads — now or later.” — Missouri state Rep. Don Phillips, a Kimberling City Republican on a three-fourths of a cent sales tax for roads that voters will pass judgment on this year.
Phillips is right. Residents will pay now or later. But the real question is whether this proposed sales tax — approved by the Legislature on Wednesday to go before voters this year — will pass. Lawmakers pared it down from the original full-cent to three-quarters. Still, this is a big bite of the apple in a state that takes pride in its low taxes. The early prediction: a long shot at best.